Interesting observations on budget subwoofers.

theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
My apologies to KEW and the guys I just found some of these subwoofers were some I’d never heard of and thought some of them looked good with unique different looks plus some obvious choices from wire cutter reviews in the past. Whoops I guess I was a bit bored.
Don't sweat it Joe, I think we all needed a good laugh.
 
B

Border411

Enthusiast
@theJman Jim....your obsession with budget subwoofers is also one of mine (mainly because of a very tight budget...but lets overlook that..haha!). Here is my problem/challenge. Remodeled my basement and ran into more than a few "unexpected" money sink holes, so it will be some time before I can step up to the big-boys in subwoofers. Right now, I'm looking at keeping my sub budget under $300. Would you suggest a BIC PL-200II or something like 1 or 2 Dayton SUB-1200's? My space is a rec room in the basement, which is about 20'x25'. My seating area is about 12' from the front. 95% of the use will be for movies/TV....very very little music. Thoughts?

I will say, that the BIC F12 that I have had in service in my den (14'x14') has been outstanding and will rock the room, but I am always looking to try something different.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
@theJman Jim....your obsession with budget subwoofers is also one of mine (mainly because of a very tight budget...but lets overlook that..haha!). Here is my problem/challenge. Remodeled my basement and ran into more than a few "unexpected" money sink holes, so it will be some time before I can step up to the big-boys in subwoofers. Right now, I'm looking at keeping my sub budget under $300. Would you suggest a BIC PL-200II or something like 1 or 2 Dayton SUB-1200's? My space is a rec room in the basement, which is about 20'x25'. My seating area is about 12' from the front. 95% of the use will be for movies/TV....very very little music. Thoughts?

I will say, that the BIC F12 that I have had in service in my den (14'x14') has been outstanding and will rock the room, but I am always looking to try something different.
Well, 14x14 is a LOT different than 20x25. Personally I would go with a pair of sub1200’s. Iirc. They’re right in line at 300pr. In that price range, nothing will dig super deep, but with 2 or 3 you can get decent output. I’d go with the Dayton’s. Fwiw, the 1500’s are 400pr but if memory serves, they didn’t perform much better than the 1200’s. Slightly better extension/output but that is to be expected. What was not expected was that the margin wasn’t very large.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Well, 14x14 is a LOT different than 20x25. Personally I would go with a pair of sub1200’s. Iirc. They’re right in line at 300pr. In that price range, nothing will dig super deep, but with 2 or 3 you can get decent output. I’d go with the Dayton’s. Fwiw, the 1500’s are 400pr but if memory serves, they didn’t perform much better than the 1200’s. Slightly better extension/output but that is to be expected. What was not expected was that the margin wasn’t very large.
Agreed, my friend. Dayton 1200s over the 1500 for certain. :)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Greetings!
Iirc @KEW is the one that shared that. Steve Guttenberg I think tested em.
Dunno who is on board with it... but I agree! :)

The only complaint I would voice is that if you need a higher roll-off, this guy only goes to 150Hz. But at the point you are worried about that... you should be planning for bigger and better. :D
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Brent Butterworth measured both and made this comment:
Surprisingly, the SUB-1200’s average output is almost the same as Dayton Audio’s larger, more expensive SUB-1500, the differences falling within the specified ±1 dB range of error for this measurement. That’s impressive.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Greetings!
Iirc @KEW is the one that shared that. Steve Guttenberg I think tested em.
No offense, but I generally consider Steve Guttenberg to be whack-o.
I don't think he has tested anything ever!
(let me know if I am wrong)!
OTOH, I have learned to appreciate Brent Butterworths opinion.
He does take measurements and plays Bass Guitar so is more than casually aware of what bass should sound like!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Brent Butterworth measured both and made this comment:

I find that hard to believe. The larger size of SUB-1500 enclosure should make a significant difference alone, let alone the larger woofer. There are variables that can affect subwoofer testing that might make this an inaccurate comparison. It is possible that the increased weight of the moving assembly of the SUB-1500 does take a toll on its sensitivity thereby hindering performance beyond what a SUB-1200 could so, but my guess is that changed testing conditions made the results incomparable. I would advise you not to take those test results to the bank for comparative purposes.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Dunno who is on board with it... but I agree! :)

The only complaint I would voice is that if you need a higher roll-off, this guy only goes to 150Hz. But at the point you are worried about that... you should be planning for bigger and better. :D
Yeah. If I’m worried about 150hz XO I’d have a bonfire with my mains. Sheesh...
Lol
Actually, now that I think of it, it wouldn’t be much of a fire...
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
No offense, but I generally consider Steve Guttenberg to be whack-o.
I don't think he has tested anything ever!
(let me know if I am wrong)!
OTOH, I have learned to appreciate Brent Butterworths opinion.
He does take measurements and plays Bass Guitar so is more than casually aware of what bass should sound like!
Haha! None taken. I knew it was one of those guys, but I’d be dipped in doo doo if I could remember which one you shared. Thanks.
 
vader540is

vader540is

Junior Audioholic
IMO for $150 the Sub1200 is one of the best.

These new chane subwoofers caught my eye... I did sell both my BIC F12s...so now I'm looking at these.

 
theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
@theJman Jim....your obsession with budget subwoofers is also one of mine (mainly because of a very tight budget...but lets overlook that..haha!).
If I'm honest, that obsession is partially by accident. What started out as a simple thought - "Why does no one review inexpensive subwoofers? I'll bet I could do that." - took on a life of its own and turned into a 9 year (and counting) side gig with about 55 published articles now. Who woulda thunk it...


Here is my problem/challenge. Remodeled my basement and ran into more than a few "unexpected" money sink holes, so it will be some time before I can step up to the big-boys in subwoofers. Right now, I'm looking at keeping my sub budget under $300. Would you suggest a BIC PL-200II or something like 1 or 2 Dayton SUB-1200's? My space is a rec room in the basement, which is about 20'x25'. My seating area is about 12' from the front. 95% of the use will be for movies/TV....very very little music. Thoughts?

I will say, that the BIC F12 that I have had in service in my den (14'x14') has been outstanding and will rock the room, but I am always looking to try something different.
For what they do, the BIC subwoofers are pretty solid offerings. For sound quality the PL-200 bests the SUB-1200, but given that you can get a pair of the latter for the same price as one of the former makes the Dayton rather enticing. That may become even more critical because of two things; the size of the room and the word "basement".

Typically when one says "basement" the word "concrete" is not far behind. If that's true in your case it will take a lot of subwoofer power to overcome the solid structure and volume of space. Nothing in the budget category will be able to do that I'm afraid, but to get even close will require multiples.


These new chane subwoofers caught my eye... I did sell both my BIC F12s...so now I'm looking at these.

This is an intriguing option and one you should consider. I have been asking Jon Lane to consider making subwoofers for at least half a dozen years so when he first mentioned these to me it piqued my interest. I have been closely following their gestation ever since and I think he's on to something here. These have the potential to be similar to the RSL SpeedWoofer 10 in the fact that you get quality and quantity for a very reasonable price. Unlike the RSL, these are a short term item as there will only be one production run. He is working on subs that will be permanent offerings in his product line, but the ones he's releasing now are first-come-first-served only. In my opinion they're priced below what they should be so these have the potential of being a very good bargain.
 
B

Border411

Enthusiast
If I'm honest, that obsession is partially by accident. What started out as a simple thought - "Why does no one review inexpensive subwoofers? I'll bet I could do that." - took on a life of its own and turned into a 9 year (and counting) side gig with about 55 published articles now. Who woulda thunk it...




For what they do, the BIC subwoofers are pretty solid offerings. For sound quality the PL-200 bests the SUB-1200, but given that you can get a pair of the latter for the same price as one of the former makes the Dayton rather enticing. That may become even more critical because of two things; the size of the room and the word "basement".

Typically when one says "basement" the word "concrete" is not far behind. If that's true in your case it will take a lot of subwoofer power to overcome the solid structure and volume of space. Nothing in the budget category will be able to do that I'm afraid, but to get even close will require multiples.




This is an intriguing option and one you should consider. I have been asking Jon Lane to consider making subwoofers for at least half a dozen years so when he first mentioned these to me it piqued my interest. I have been closely following their gestation ever since and I think he's on to something here. These have the potential to be similar to the RSL SpeedWoofer 10 in the fact that you get quality and quantity for a very reasonable price. Unlike the RSL, these are a short term item as there will only be one production run. He is working on subs that will be permanent offerings in his product line, but the ones he's releasing now are first-come-first-served only. In my opinion they're priced below what they should be so these have the potential of being a very good bargain.
The basement will actually have heavy carpet and thick carpet padding installed monday....so concrete will not be an issue.

Also, to all, I found that I could get ELAC S10EQ's on clearance for $99 each. I did like the TAI-300....but would that be enough? Thoughts?
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The basement will actually have heavy carpet and thick carpet padding installed monday....so concrete will not be an issue.

Also, to all, I found that I could get ELAC S10EQ's on clearance for $99 each. I did like the TAI-300....but would that be enough? Thoughts?
I will be interested in seeing thoughts on the Elac S10EQ's!

One important question is how you plan to adjust your subs to best integrate them into your room. The major innovation of the S10EQ is the built-in EQ app.
$99/ea is one heck of a price and I would probably do 4 if you went that way because 10" makes a great woofer, but not the stoutest subwoofer. IOW, if you are looking for deep bass to compliment mains that don't have great bass, 10" will do a great job of filling in that bass. They will also add a lot to your HT, but if you are looking for the real excitement of your body physically shaking to the reverberations of an earthquake you won't get it out of 10" subs! Having 4 of them won't get you lower frequencies, but 4 subs will have more authority (stronger SPL) within the frequencies it can produce!
 
afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
$99 dang :eek::eek:I’d get one or two. Would you consider posting where to get this deal? or PM me.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
The basement will actually have heavy carpet and thick carpet padding installed monday....so concrete will not be an issue.

Also, to all, I found that I could get ELAC S10EQ's on clearance for $99 each. I did like the TAI-300....but would that be enough? Thoughts?
Actually the carpet and padding won’t do anything. The reason concrete is difficult is because it’s very inert and tends to absorb bass, if you will. On a suspended floor, the floor itself acts like a diaphragm, or drum head and resonates itself. Even the drywall can resonate(although if it’s an exterior wall or just any wall with fiberglass batting it won’t).
No way on earth I’d try using 10’s in that space. Although as Kurt pointed out, using 4 would help with output. Still, won’t do anything for extension.
I have an issue with Elacs setup and the possibility of losing software support in the long run. I also don’t like that you can’t control them except for the app.
 
afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
I will be interested in seeing thoughts on the Elac S10EQ's!

One important question is how you plan to adjust your subs to best integrate them into your room. The major innovation of the S10EQ is the built-in EQ app.
$99/ea is one heck of a price and I would probably do 4 if you went that way because 10" makes a great woofer, but not the stoutest subwoofer. IOW, if you are looking for deep bass to compliment mains that don't have great bass, 10" will do a great job of filling in that bass. They will also add a lot to your HT, but if you are looking for the real excitement of your body physically shaking to the reverberations of an earthquake you won't get it out of 10" subs! Having 4 of them won't get you lower frequencies, but 4 subs will have more authority (stronger SPL) within the frequencies it can produce!
Do you have the 10 or 12 inch?
 
theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
The basement will actually have heavy carpet and thick carpet padding installed monday....so concrete will not be an issue.
Actually the carpet and padding won’t do anything. The reason concrete is difficult is because it’s very inert and tends to absorb bass, if you will. On a suspended floor, the floor itself acts like a diaphragm, or drum head and resonates itself. Even the drywall can resonate(although if it’s an exterior wall or just any wall with fiberglass batting it won’t).
William is correct, carpet and padding won't change the inherent properties of the structure. It will certainly help dampen the sound, which is likely to diminish things like reverberation, but the concrete will still be a problem.
 

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